Pilots to strike at RAF bases

Airmen training military helicopter pilots in Shropshire are set to become the first at an RAF base to go on strike after overwhelmingly backing action.

Submitted by Steven. on January 11, 2006

The 45 pilots employed by FB Heliservices at RAF Shawbury and eight at RAF Valley on Anglesely, who are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (http://www.balpa.org/), were balloted over the action.

Ninety-four per who took part in the ballot voted yes to strike action. Of the 53 ballot papers sent out 51 were returned of which 48 were for further action and three against.

The pilots had rejected a 10 per cent wage rise over three years, arguing their pay was £7,000 a year lower than trainers directly employed by the RAF.

BALPA spokesman Keith Bill said: “We are giving the company a few days breathing space so it can decide if it wants to improve its offer. If that doesn’t happen the first dates of the strike will be selected.”

FB Heliservices company director Allan Blake said: “We are obviously disappointed but will keep on talking to BALPA to see if we can avoid strike action.”

:> UPDATE: Strike averted for talks

Edited from an article in the Shropshire Star